Ballymoney 26 – Lisburn 9
At Ballymoney last Saturday Lisburn came up against a high-flying home team who got the bit between their teeth in the first quarter to lead 14-0 after 15 minutes, the first try from a maul following a 5 metre line out, the second after the ball had been run wide to find an overlap after poor defence by the visitors.
It was only then that Lisburn came to terms with the game and the pack started to stem the flow of possession being provided by the ‘Toon’ forwards. Lisburn had
been forced to reorganise their team before the kick off following illness to a player and this was proving a bit disruptive.
However, as they steadied the ship, they were able to put more pressure on the home set pieces and were rewarded with two fine penalties from out-half Richard McGregor, the second from 40 metres out, and this brought up the half time score of 14-6.
Coach Nathan Moore brought words of wisdom to his team at the interval and the second period started on a very positive note for Lisburn. Following strong pressure on the Ballymoney line for ten minutes, McGregor again kicked a good penalty to narrow the gap to 14-9 but then they did not organise their defensive patterns on the restart and Ballymoney again got possession to maul over for another try in the 12th minute to lead by 19-9.
For much of the remaining half hour, both teams tried to play expansive rugby but the defences were now on top and it was only in the final minute of the game, with Lisburn attacking feverishly on the Ballymoney line, that the scoreboard finally moved again. The ball broke lose to be claimed by the ‘Toon’ men and it was then moved wide for their free running backline to score.
The conversion made it 26-9 to give Ballymoney a ticket into the next round of the Junior Cup on a score line which hardly reflected how close a game this turned out to be. For Lisburn, backs to impress were Wightman, James, Gascoigne and Cobain. Up front it was Edgar, Barron, Hooke and Hewitt who
Next Saturday the 1st XV have no match as the Academy fixture has been moved to October 26. The Seconds host Academy 2s while the Third XV make their opening bow of the season against Belfast Harlequins 4s, also at home.